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California Land Use Law & Policy Reporter

November 2015

Volume 25, Number 2 November 2015


California Assembly Bill 52—A Study In Frustration or a Legislative Success?

by Ellen Berkowitz, Esq. and Brent McManigal, Esq., Gresham Savage Nolan and Tilden, P.C., Los Angeles and San Bernardino, California35


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Advances Petitions to List 23 Species as Endangered or Threatened40


Circuit Court of Appeals:

Ninth Circuit Upholds Bureau of Indian Affairs Approval of Timber


Cascadia Wildlands v. Bureau of Indian Affairs, ___ F.3d___, Case No. 14-35553 (9th Cir. Sept. 11, 2015).

Ninth Circuit Finds EPA’s Unconditional Approval of Insecticide Was Not Supported by Substantial Evidence44

Pollinator Stewardship Council v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ___F.3d___, Case No. 13-72346 (9th Cir. Sept. 10, 2015).

District Court:

District Court Dismisses Lawsuit against the California Department of Water Resources on Endangered Species Act Notice Requirements45

Center for Environmental Science, Accuracy & Reliability v. Mark W. Cowin, in his Official Capacity as Director of California Department of Water Resources, ___F.Supp.3d___, Case No. 1:15-cv-00884 (E.D. Cal. Sept. 14, 2015).


District Court of Appeal:

On Remand from Berkeley Hillside Supreme Court Decision, the First District Court Finds Berkeley Home Exempt from CEQA48

Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley, ___Cal.App.4th___ , Case No. A131254 (1st. Dist. Oct. 15, 2015).

Fourth District Court Upholds Order to Refund Over $10 Million in Unexpended Impact Fees Collected Pursuant to the Mitigation Fee Act50

Daniel Walker et al. v. City of San Clemente et al., ___Cal.App.4th___, Case No. G050552 (4th Dist. Aug. 28, 2015).

First District Court Decides CEQA Exemption Not Applicable to Waterfront Development52

Defend our Waterfront v. California State Lands Commission, et al., ___Cal.App.4th___, Case Nos. A141696 & A141697 (1st Dist. Sept. 17, 2015).

Fourth District Court Upholds Denial of Anti-SLAPP Motion Brought against Group Seeking Refund of School District Payments Made to Contractors53

San Diegans for Open Government v. Har Construction, Inc., ___Cal.App.4th___, Case No. D066514 (4th Dist. ordered published September 17, 2015).

Fourth District Court Finds Safeguards in Place in the Face of an Apparent Conflict of Interest55

Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment v. Abercrombie, 240 Cal.App.4th 300 (4th Dist. 2015).

Be Sure to Show Your Work—Fourth District Court Finds School District Failed to Adequately Document Its Reliance on a CEQA Exemption58

Save Our Schools v. Barstow Unified School District Board of Education, 240 Cal.App.4th 128 (4th Dist. 2015).